iPhone 8 Facial Recognition May Work With Apple Pay, HomePod Firmware Suggests

iPhone 8 Specs

The Touch ID situation on the iPhone 8, as in if it will exist on the device or not, probably won’t get handled until Apple gives us a firm answer one way or another, but details keep stacking up leaning in one direction.

The HomePod firmware, which Apple accidentally released late last week, has been chipping away at the shroud of mystery revolving around the iPhone 8 for several days now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop soon. So, while it happens, we get to paint a picture of what Apple may launch later this year.

Thanks to developer @r_idn, we have one more notch to put down on the “will they/won’t they” table when it comes to including Touch ID in the iPhone 8, with today’s hint suggesting they won’t. A com.apple.passbook.payment string was discovered in the HomePod firmware which has a reference to “pearl.field-detect” and “pearl.pre-arm,” along with other payment verification data. For those keeping track, “pearl” is the codename for Apple’s facial recognition system expected to arrive with the iPhone 8 later this year. This could be a clear sign that Apple will make facial recognition the go-to option for Apple Pay.

It is worth noting that, at this current state, “pearl” is only mentioned when it comes to payment presentation, and not authentication. That means, right now, it couldn’t be used to actually complete a transaction. But that will more than likely change ahead of the iPhone 8’s arrival.

Facial recognition is going to be a hot topic for Apple if this is indeed the case. There has been a lot of back-and-forth on whether or not Apple should get rid of Touch ID, and, going further, if Apple should replace it with facial recognition. There have been reports that Apple’s implementation of facial scanning will be more secure than Touch ID, in part because it captures more data points. However, many arguments point out that using facial recognition, instead of fingerprint scanning, to make payments might be more frustrating.

The previous HomePod firmware leaks that have come out haven’t pointed to any inclusion of Touch ID, which, by now, seems like it would be the case by now. However, considering we’re putting together these pictures based on firmware alone, it’s possible something could change ahead of the official unveiling.

Would you be okay with Apple ditching Touch ID?

[via MacRumors; @r_idn]